Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Killer Sheep

Did you hear the one about the Beltway's killer sheep? Well:

The Gingrich camp thinks the punditocracy’s got it all wrong. When asked by The Huffington Post about media coverage this past week, Gingrich press secretary Rick Tyler fired off a response blasting the political and media elite.

“The literati sent out their minions to do their bidding,” Tyler wrote. “Washington cannot tolerate threats from outsiders who might disrupt their comfortable world. The firefight started when the cowardly sensed weakness. They fired timidly at first, then the sheep not wanting to be dropped from the establishment’s cocktail party invite list unloaded their entire clip, firing without taking aim their distortions and falsehoods. Now they are left exposed by their bylines and handles. But surely they had killed him off. This is the way it always worked. A lesser person could not have survived the first few minutes of the onslaught. But out of the billowing smoke and dust of tweets and trivia emerged Gingrich, once again ready to lead those who won’t be intimated by the political elite and are ready to take on the challenges America faces.”

Yes, the awkward grammar and casting Gingrich as Rambo are both impressive, but damn, there's a metaphor for ya: Gun-toting, cocktail-swigging sheep.

It's hard to improve on Paul Krugman's take, "The Fascist Octopus, Having Sung Its Swan Song, Needs to Retire":

Orwell wept. His famous examples of careless writing — the fascist octopus has sung its swan song, the jackboot has been thrown into the melting pot — must exit the stage in the face of Newt Gingrich’s press secretary.

As Krugman goes on to note, Gingrich has always been a clown, but the media hasn't bothered to notice. If there's any doubt, read through the Mother Jones article, "Newt in His Own Words: 33 Years of Bomb-Throwing." It's because of people like Newt that there's a Godwin's Law. He can't go more than a few months without attacking his latest target with an inaccurate, irresponsible Nazi analogy.

Henry Farrell at Crooked Timber asks, "What is it that the right has against sheep?" and I share the same question. He compiles a few anti-sheep links (including Carly Fiorina's infamous, Pythonesque Demon Sheep ad), and updates the post with a commenter's villanelle. If there's one thing fascist octopi and killer sheep fear, it's whimsical poetry.

Update: John Lithgow gives a dramatic reading of the press release on The Colbert Report:



Marc McDonald said...

Nice piece. BTW, I always have to laugh when I hear the wingnuts talk about the "Liberal Media."
I worked in the newspaper biz myself for many years. True, there were some liberals, but they were generally very moderate. They were outnumbered by those who were either Conservative or just apolitical.
At least that was my experience. In any case, the people with all the power (the owners, media shareholders and publishers) were all, without exception, extreme hard-right. After all, there is no industry in existence that is more ferociously anti-union than the newspaper business.
So despite what the wingnuts believe, we newspaper types are hardly "liberal." In fact, most of the time when we weren't slaving away at our jobs, we weren't thinking much about politics at all. Instead we were trying to figure out how to pay basic living expenses on our sh*tty wages. There were a number of times I returned home after a 12-hour day to a dark apartment, simply because I had no money to pay the electric bill.
"Liberal" media, my ass.

Batocchio said...

Marc, that's a key point many folks (mostly of the conservative persuasion) miss or ignore - even if the reporters tend to be liberal, the owners are not. Some corporations are liberal on social issues, but they're all for plutocracy.